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Catalog No: FLX34
Title: Watson and the Shark
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: John Singleton Copley
Label: Flux Records
Length: 40:30 (2430s)
Composed: 2010-2014
Location: Los Angeles
Instruments: E. Gabler & Bros. Baby Grand Piano
Kurzweil K2500
Korg M3R
Kurzweil K2000
Roland Juno Alpha
Release Date: 10/24/2015
Format: Digital
File Under: neo-classical narrative


Frank Rothkamm [ Watson and the Shark ]

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`Watson and the Shark` from 1778 is a neo-classical painting by the American John Singleton Copley. It was commissioned by the British Brook Watson of London, painted there and subsequently exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1778. Copley produced a second, full-size replica for himself and a third much smaller version. This is the fourth copy guided via spirit communication between 2010 and 2014 in Los Angeles to the medium of neo-classical music by the German Frank Holger Rothkamm.

The painting is based on a shark attack that took place in Havana harbor in 1749. Brook Watson, then a 14-year-old cabin boy, lost his leg in the attack and was not rescued until the third attempt, which is the subject of the painting. Watson went on to become a Lord Mayor of London. The music, with a foreword and afterword, tells the story of Watson’s life as a boy growing up in England and his journey across the sea until his fateful encounter with destiny, which he laments thereafter. While playing, the composer has taken the liberty of weaving in threads of his own life into this allegorical narrative. Like the painter, he has only encountered sharks in his dreams.

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[Watson and the Shark] Image